(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler) [Order this photo]
"My daughter is 20 years old and we still read together," said Teresa Winnette of the Child Development Center. "I'll be cooking dinner and she'll read a chapter of a James Patterson book to me, and then I might read another chapter to her later while we're sitting on the couch."
Winnette, the assistant early intervention director for the CDC, has been an advocate of early literacy for decades. She read to her daughter when she was in the womb. Last week, in observance of Read Across America Week, she and the CDC, along with several other schools across the county, invited local leaders to read to the children they serve.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
"As part of helping to support our goal of early literacy, we wanted to recognize Read Across America," said Winnette, explaining the CDC is certified by the Department of Education (early literacy is one of several guidelines set forth by the department's Race to the Top program). "We invited local leaders to help the community realize the importance of reading to young children."
Speech development is one benefit of early reading, but there's also a social aspect to the act, Winnette says.
"It's also a bonding experience, to be able to sit on mom's or grandma's or dad's lap and read a book," she said.
You don't have to read every book word for word. Point to the photos and make up a story of your own as you go along, Winnette said.
Four people visited the CDC last week to recognize Read Across America, including County Mayor Eugene Ray.
Elementary schools also invited special guest speakers to read to students throughout the week, including Times-Gazette City Editor John Carney, who read "Fox in Socks" to Cascade students, in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday, which was Wednesday.
Argie Cooper Public Library hosted a special story time in honor of the late Dr. Seuss, whose most famous books (among the 44 of his that were published) include "Green Eggs and Ham," "The Cat in the Hat," "One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish," "Horton Hatches the Egg," "Horton Hears a Who!," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
The purpose of the CDC, which was founded in 1972, is to provide education and early intervention services to children ages 18 months to three and a half identified as having developmental delays or a specific disability. Additionally, the CDC was required to be integrated and so it also offers a "Mother's Day Out" program ($13 a day for non-delayed children) for young children, including those who are not developmentally delayed.
The CDC operates year round with two half-day center-based programs in an inclusive environment with home-based and community-based instruction also offered as an option.
About 80 percent of the children with developmental delays who go through the CDC end up in regular classrooms.
There are 44 children (plus nine who participate in Mother's Day Out) being served by Bedford County's CDC. Physical, occupational and language and communication therapy are additional services provided to clients of the CDC.
(T-G Photo by Sadie Fowler)
The CDC is funded through United Way, grants, county and city funding, local churches and business and individual contributions. The CDC is responsible for raising 46 percent of its budget through fundraising. Their largest fundraiser for the year is a golf tournament, scheduled this year for Aug. 8.
Eligibility is determined by Tennessee's Early Intervention System and any parent, doctor or others worried about a child's development should call TEIS at 1-800-852-7157. The Bedford CDC is located at 111 Eaglette Way. For more information call 684-9203.
Jessica Osborne reads the "Cat in the Hat" in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday last Wednesday. The library promotes early literacy by holding regular story time sessions. In addition to the library, the Center For Child Development and other schools also held special programs in observance of Read Across America Week last week.
County Mayor Eugene Ray reads to (not in order) Alex, Kamryn, Leslie Throneberry, Ethan, Valerie, Andrew, and Tammy Lane at the CDC last week.